Posts Tagged ‘Falcons’

Title odds: Falcons 16-1, Dogs 50-1, Jackets 150-1

Mike Smith's Falcons are 16-1 to win Super Bowl.

Mike Smith's Falcons are 16-1 to win next year's Super Bowl.

Richt's Dogs (50-1) and Johnson's Jackets (150-1) both long odds in BCS race.

Mark Richt's Bulldogs (50-1) and Paul Johnson's Yellow Jackets (150-1) both face long odds in the next BCS race.

Earlier I gave you my rankings of the 32 NFL teams going into next season, which I should note originally was posted BEFORE Green Bay defeated Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl Sunday.

Now we move onto the rankings that have dollar signs connected to it.

The following “futures” odds have been posted by the online sportsbook Bodog. Odds obviously come with no guarantees. That’s why Las Vegas can afford really big hotels.

But it’s worth noting that the Falcons, despite their lopsided home playoff loss to the Packers, have not dropped at all in the minds of oddsmakers. They’re listed at 16-1 to win the Super Bowl. That’s tied for eighth overall and the third-best odds among NFC teams, behind only Green Bay (7-1) and New Orleans (14-1). Dallas and Philadelphia also are 16-1.

Bodog is less optimistic about the …

Continue reading Title odds: Falcons 16-1, Dogs 50-1, Jackets 150-1 »

Herschel has ‘no doubt’ he could play in NFL (but won’t)

Herschel ...

Doesn't everybody have abs like Herschel Walker at the age of 48?

So of all the possible ways the Falcons can improve themselves this offseason, would signing a 48-year-old running back fit into the equation?

Yes, Herschel Walker says he could still play football. Yes, he says if he ever attempted a comeback in the NFL, it would be in Atlanta. But before you add one plus one and get 37 — like some in cyberspace are doing — the answer is no: He is not pursuing a return to football.

I bring this up because a headline on an AOL/Fanhouse story Monday read: “Herschel Walker, 48, Ponders NFL Comeback.” It might as well have read, “Elvis spotted at Smyrna Waffle House.” When I informed Walker of the headline, he laughed.

However, the former Georgia and NFL star, turned MMA fighter, didn’t laugh about his potential to still perform at a high level.

“I was asked [on a conference call earlier Monday] if I thought I could still play football, and my answer is yes,” Walker said by phone. …

Continue reading Herschel has ‘no doubt’ he could play in NFL (but won’t) »

Time to mock! Kiper, McShay say Falcons take . . .

Kiper says Falcons will take Maryland receiver Torrey Smith.

Kiper: Falcons take Maryland receiver Torrey Smith.

McShay: Justin Houston will go from Dogs to Falcons.

McShay: Justin Houston goes from Dogs to Birds.

It’s that time of the year again: Football darts!

Yes, NFL mock drafts officially shifted into full gear with ESPN’s two major draftniks, Mel Kiper and Todd McShay (seeming mortal enemies), both releasing their projections.

Not surprisingly, both agree on little beyond the fact that the other is an idiot. Also, the Washington Redskins are going to draft Auburn quarterback Cam Newton with the 10th overall selection.

Below, I’ve listed the mock drafts of each. They’re available only to ESPN “Insider” subscribers. But I’m a man of the people so I’m giving it to you.  Besides, I figure if ESPN threatens me with violence for giving away this high-level information for free, I’ll at least get about 17 mocking blogs out of it. So I’m pretty sure they’ll leave me alone.

Here are the other picks I’ve highlighted (with Kiper’s and McShay’s analysis):

– Kiper has Georgia wide receiver A.J. …

Continue reading Time to mock! Kiper, McShay say Falcons take . . . »

LIVE BLOG: If Falcons win, it could be Super Bowl dance

John Abraham and the Falcons celebrated after a 20-17 win over the Packers Nov. 28. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

John Abraham and the Falcons celebrated after a 20-17 win over the Packers Nov. 28 at the Georgia Dome. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Win tonight. Go to the Super Bowl. So sayeth I. (Sorry. I saw, “The King’s Speech” last night and got carried away with the whole English thing.)

Most believe the Falcons and Green Bay are the two best teams in the NFC. They just happened to be meeting in the conference semifinals. I fully expect the winner of this game to beat the winner of Sunday’s Chicago-Seattle semi. So winning today could mean a trip to Dallas.

It has been nearly two weeks since the Falcons last played — a lopsided home win over Carolina. It has been only six days since Green Bay played — last Sunday’s win in Philadelphia in the wild card game. Logic says the Falcons will be rested and the Packers will be beat up. (Remember, this is a team that also had to scramble down the stretch and win its last two regular season games just to make the playoffs.) What we can’t predict is …

Continue reading LIVE BLOG: If Falcons win, it could be Super Bowl dance »

Our first coach rankings (and a poll about Richt, Hewitt)

Mark Richt's Dogs just lost to Central Florida and finished 6-7.

Richt's Bulldogs lost to UCF and finished 6-7.

Paul Hewitt's Jackets have loss to Kennesaw State and Siena.

Hewitt's Jackets lost to Kennesaw State, Siena.

Coaches generally are not always the most popular figures in this city (or maybe any city). But given the general current upswing of the pro sports franchises, there really are only two coaches that would draw a no-confidence vote right now: Georgia football coach Mark Richt and Tech basketball coach Paul Hewitt.

I’m going to ask you a question soon. But first, here’s my rankings of the eight coaches for the four major pro sports teams – Atlanta Dream(s) fans, please stop emailing me – and the four college teams.

Which coach is more likely to turn around his program?

  • Paul Hewitt (Tech basketball)
  • Mark Richt (Georgia football)
  • Neither
  • Both

View Results

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This is NOT based merely on their overall resume but rather how things are currently trending on their respective team/program.

♦ 1. Mike Smith (Falcons): Has led the Falcons to three straight …

Continue reading Our first coach rankings (and a poll about Richt, Hewitt) »

Falcons get a chance to clinch division and quiet critics

After last week's win in Seattle, the Falcons are one celebration away from clinching the NFC South.

After Brent Grimes secured last week's win in Seattle, the Falcons are one celebration away from clinching the NFC South.

After a 12-2 record, the clinched playoff berth, the likelihood of a division title, the likelihood of home field through the playoffs and several thousand more fans suddenly following Roddy White on Twitter, the Falcons may actually be close to securing their greatest achievement of all: Acceptance.

They’ve beaten New Orleans. They’ve beaten Baltimore. They’ve beaten Green Bay. If they defeat the Saints for a second time, shouldn’t that smother the lingering doubts?

They’ve won games running. They’ve won games passing. They’ve won games with their 5-foot-10 cornerback (Brent Grimes) and their 5-9 kick returner (Eric Weems) and their 35-year-old, 5-9 kicker (Matt Bryant) and, yes, maybe the winning lottery numbers.

They haven’t always been impressive. But doesn’t it say something when a team just keeps winning, like at no time in franchise history since the …

Continue reading Falcons get a chance to clinch division and quiet critics »

Falcons can lead way to an Atlanta sports grand slam

Green Bay fans invaded the Georgia Dome last month but learned what we found out: Atlanta now has winners.

Green Bay fans invaded the Georgia Dome last month expecting a Packers win but they learned what we had already found out: Atlanta now has winners. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

If this isn’t Shoeless Joe Jackson looking out at some ball field cut into a cornfield and asking, “Is this heaven?” then what is it? Because it’s certainly not Atlanta.

Is it?

The Braves returned to the playoffs in October after four years of personnel miscalculations and an extended viewing of Mike Hampton’s exploding limbs (later to become a Ripley’s exhibit, adjacent to the two-headed goat).

The Hawks appear to be stabilizing under new coach Larry Drew. The presumed-to-be undermanned Thrashers resemble a Swiss Army knife, taking apart the Axis powers with just the corkscrew and the bottle opener.

The Falcons are 12-2, which ties them for the NFL’s best record and makes them two wins better than the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints, who visit here Monday night.

Bobby Cox and the Braves celebrated after clincing a playoff berth.

Bobby Cox and the Braves …

Continue reading Falcons can lead way to an Atlanta sports grand slam »

Predictions: Falcons, Dogs, Jackets win; Rex plays footsie

bords 001

And on some Tuesday after Christmas, my bookie gave to me . . .

12 Goodell’s a fining, 11 Shananans a tanking, 11 Kiffins a clucking, 10 Petrinos a oinking, nine more Goodell’s a fining because baby needs a new pair of Porsches!, eight Atlanta Spirit owners a cash calling, seven Favre’s a sexting (five intercepted), six Jenn Sterger careers a flopping (next stop: The Club Bada Bing), five Ohio Staters a tattooing, four Kim Zolciak’s a prowling (step back, Kroy, it’s a trap!), three Roddy Whites a Tweeting, two Beverly Halls a lying and one Rex Ryan foot fetish video but don’t ask me about it because it’s private and that’s why we put it on YouTube.

Not that you needed any more motivation, but ...

Not that you needed any more motivation, but …

(My wife wanted me to do a Christmas rhyme. But after re-reading “Green Eggs and Ham,” I thought: I can’t top this. So you get a run-on-sentence and maybe some socks. Happy happy.)

We head into the final two weeks of Weekend Predictions. Let me just remind all active members of our …

Continue reading Predictions: Falcons, Dogs, Jackets win; Rex plays footsie »

Falcons fans: Are you willing to let it snow, let it snow …? (UPDATE: Will Bears-Vikings be moved here?)

A fans view of last week's Bears-Patriots game in Chicago. (Don't worry, it's not this bad in Atlanta.)

Fans' view of last week's Bears-Patriots game in Chicago. (Don't worry. Atlanta's not this bad.)

(UPDATED below with news that the Chicago Bears-Minnesota Vikings game is considering the Georgia Dome as a fallback site.)

Hello. It’s cold outside. Do you love football enough to sit in this for three or four hours?

This topic has been going around ever since Falcons owner Arthur Blank announced that he wants to build an open air stadium. Personally, I love open air stadiums. The sounds are better. The smells are better. It just feels more like football.

Besides, I get to sit inside a press box.

What kind of stadium should the Falcons build?

  • Outdoors. (I love football weather!)
  • Dome. (I’m a wimp.)
  • Retractable roof. (I’m Switzerland.)

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No seriously, while I’ll give you that I grew up in the not-so-brutal winters of southern California, I did sit outside through many cold and rainy games. (The hot chocolate never stayed hot in the …

Continue reading Falcons fans: Are you willing to let it snow, let it snow …? (UPDATE: Will Bears-Vikings be moved here?) »

Cam Newton’s Heisman is a victory for fact over suspicions

Cam Newton won the Heisman by a wide margin but he was left off the ballot by 105 voters.

Auburn's Cam Newton won the Heisman Trophy by a wide margin, but 105 voters chose to leave him off their ballot. (AP photo)

(Updated: 9 p.m. Saturday)

The problem isn’t just that some turned Cam Newton’s Heisman run into a morality play. The problem is how we’re judging morality.

His father tried to pimp him to Mississippi State for cash. So is this was supposed to be a vote for Cecil “Huggy Bear” Newton? Is a Heisman vote suddenly not for the student-athlete but for his father, mother and maybe third cousin? Because if that’s true, clear the trophy case. Start with last year’s winner, Mark Ingram, whose father has been in jail for most of the last 10 years for money laundering and bank fraud.

Cam Newton purchased a stolen laptop when he was at Florida, then panicked and threw it out the window when he heard police footsteps. Big mistake, for which he paid a price (public humiliation).

There have been stories of him being on academic probation at Florida. Sorry, but does this …

Continue reading Cam Newton’s Heisman is a victory for fact over suspicions »